“Creativity does not involve a single brain region or single side of the brain. Instead, the entire creative process– from preparation to incubation to illumination to verification– consists of many interacting cognitive processes (both conscious and unconscious) and emotions. Depending on the stage of the creative process, and what you’re actually attempting to create, different brain regions are recruited to handle the task.” The Executive Attention Network is utilized when a task requires focused attention, such as engaging in problem solving, and working memory. The Imagination Network is used in social cognition and in “constructing dynamic mental simulations based on personal past experiences such as used during remembering, thinking about the future, and generally when imagining alternative perspectives and scenarios to the present.” The Salience Network monitors external events and stream of consciousness and selects the information that is most salient to solving the task at hand. Sometimes the networks work together, while other times collaboration negatively impacts the creative process. “Also, converging research findings do suggest that creative cognition recruits brain regions that are critical for daydreaming, imagining the future, remembering deeply personal memories, constructive internal reflection, meaning making, and social cognition.” Read article
Music training has wide ranging effects in capacities related to perception, performance, and language with increases in brain efficiency. Although, music training affects brain structures more strongly as a child, permanent brain changes can also be seen with adults. The multisensory nature of music stimulates unique neuroplasticity, including improvement of brain capacities unrelated to music such as learning new sensory and motor skills, and abstract concepts. Read article
Test subjects participated in an 8 week mindfulness meditation program and for the first time massive changes inside the brain’s gray matter were documented. According to Sara Lazar, changes in brain structure may underlie some of the reported improvements and that people are not just feeling better because they are relaxing. According to the article, participants spent an average of 27 minutes per day practicing mindfulness exercises and this produced an increase in gray matter density in the hippocampus (an area associated with introspection, self-awareness, and compassion). “Participant-reported reductions in stress also were correlated with decreased gray-matter density in the amygdala, which is known to play an important role in anxiety and stress. None of these changes were seen in the control group, indicating that they had not resulted merely from the passage of time.” Read article
Science provides evidence that the brain is malleable and changes based upon your lifestyle, environment, and physiology. As once was previously thought, the brain is not static. “There are two types of brain plasticity—functional plasticity (your brain's ability to move functions from a damaged area to undamaged areas) and structural plasticity (its ability to actually change its physical structure as a result of learning).” When one practices a new skill, new neural pathways form and s/he become better at the skill. The brain also undergoes “synaptic pruning,” which is the elimination of pathways that are no longer needed. Neuroplasticity can also work on emotional states, such as anxiety. Your brain’s plasticity is also influenced by your diet, sleep patterns, emotional states, exercise, and stress levels. Article stresses that you need physical and mental exercise for brain health. Exercise can promote growth of new brain cells, prevent brain deterioration as you age, improve IQ scores, and enlarge your memory center. “According to brain plasticity expert Dr. Michael Merzenich, engaging in challenging new activities throughout your life, staying socially active, and practicing “mindfulness” are other ways to boost your brain function. He also stresses the importance of having a genuine interest in your chosen activities. Just going through the motions is not enough to build these neural pathways—you have to really care about what you’re learning.” The article suggests engaging in wise lifestyle choices such as: exercise (especially high intensity interval training), reducing overall calorie consumption, reducing overall carbohydrate consumption (especially grains and sugars), eating enough fatty consumption to eliminate insulin destruction, and eat enough high-quality omega-3 fats and eliminating damaged omega-6 fats (processed vegetable oils). Vitamin D, gut health, and choline are also important for brain health as is stress reduction. Stress can actually result in a reduction in brain volume which in turn results in emotional and cognitive impairment. The article recommends an Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) to help with stress.
Neuroplasticity is the brain’s ability to change and heal itself in response to mental experience. The brain can create new neural pathways to adapt to its needs. One can use movement and exercise to change the brain. The article also discussed how the neuroplasticity of the brain was used to heal chronic pain. There were also video clips embedded in the article.
Learn more about new brain thought technology with the articles and research that are listed on this page.